The Benefits of the 12-Step Program

Twelve-step programs are a valuable, accessible, and free resource for people with substance use disorders. Research has shown that early involvement in the form of attending meetings and participating in recovery activities is associated with improved substance use and psychosocial outcomes, as well as lower health care costs. Despite these benefits, attendance and commitment are often low and inconsistent, with high dropout rates. Social workers, health care providers, and behavioral health professionals can increase the likelihood of linking substance abusers to 12-step programs by the methods and style they use in their referral process.

Professionals should become familiar with 12-step programs in general and in their specific locations, learn about the positive outcomes associated with active participation in such programs, try to match client needs with specific mutual support groups, and incorporate community use 12-step volunteers to serve as “bridges” to such groups. They should also use empirically supported 12-step facilitating approaches that adapt to the unique characteristics of their practice environments. The 12-step program is designed to help people achieve abstinence from substance use disorders or make behavior change through support. This intervention provides a supportive social network and encourages bonding between group members, which adds to the benefits.

Members often lead groups without the participation of health professionals. It is almost impossible to maintain sobriety without a plan. The 12 steps provide a plan for long-term sobriety. Those who thoroughly complete the steps have a much better chance of staying permanently sober.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service for U. S. citizens and nationals traveling or living abroad. STEP allows you to enter information about overseas travel so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

You can also sign up to receive email updates with travel advisories and other information for a particular country. When it comes to addiction treatment options, twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) rank high in popularity. The 12-step program helps patients build a peer support system which can help them continue to move forward in the recovery process. The Northern Illinois Recovery Center can guide you through the 12-step process and help you or a loved one find a group.

The first individual session incorporates linking the stimulant user with an external 12-step volunteer to help explain the meetings and treatment philosophy, as well as to attend a meeting together. When you're in a 12-step program, we encourage you to look for a member to help guide you through the steps. Many people who are substance dependent consider 12-step groups to be useful resources in the recovery process, but even after treatment, many are ambivalent about their need for help. The 12-step program has been popular for many decades because it uses a concrete plan, holds you accountable, encourages companionship and understanding, and takes you out of yourself.

The goal is to familiarize social workers and other behavioral health providers with 12-step approaches so that they can make informed referrals that connect clients to mutual support groups that best meet the individual's needs and maximize the likelihood of participation and positive outcomes. The steps specify that substance abusers must admit their impotence in the face of alcohol and drugs, take a moral inventory of themselves, admit the nature of their mistakes, make a list of the people they have harmed, and make peace with those people. Alcoholics Anonymous developed the first 12-step program, but these programs now exist in many different forms. In addition to AA and NA, there are Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and other groups which have become an important resource for those recovering from drug addiction.

The five groups involve continued admission after the initial one-on-one session, including acceptance (Step 1), people, places and things (Step 2), surrender (Step 3), staying active (Step 4), and controlling emotions (Step 5). Twelve-step facilitation therapy administered in a group format had substance use outcomes comparable to those of better-established relapse prevention groups; in addition, treatment matching effects were found for gender, substance abuse patterns, and severity psychiatric patients who favored treatment in the TSF Group over the relapse prevention group (Brown et al.). The secret to success in 12-step programs is scholarship - understanding each step thoroughly so that it can be applied effectively in everyday life.